Flood Damaged Flats In Newcastle Are Close To Collapse

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Flood Damaged Flats In Newcastle Are Close To Collapse

Our north east escorts are astonished at the damage the recent floods have caused in the north east area. One Newcastle escort commented, "I knew the rain was out of the ordinary, heavy to say the least, but the damage it has caused, and the effect on peoples lives must be devastating".

Floodwater gouged out ground beneath Spencer Court, Newburn, on Tuesday, exposing the piles holding it up and badly damaging foundations. Residents attending a public meeting reacted angrily to the news the flats might have to be pulled down. On Thursday two further blocks of council flats were evacuated amid fears Spencer Court could collapse.

Residents of Hareside Walk and Hareside Close had been allowed home but were asked to leave again. Housing company Your Homes Newcastle - which manages council housing for Newcastle City Council - said it took the decision in the interests of residents' safety. Mick Murphy, technical director at Newcastle City Council, said after the meeting: "Engineers assessments say that it's unsafe and probably unsafe to try and repair." Kate Scaife, who lives in Spencer Court, said: "To find out in a public meeting was shocking. To everybody else it's bricks and mortar, but to us it's home and it hurts." Caroline Charlton, who lives in Mill Vale, said: "There's a lot of upset people and for us poor residents we're going to be stuck in the middle of a long legal battle between landowners. "Who would want to buy our houses? They're lovely homes but who would take the risk? I certainly wouldn't." Paul Nicholson, also lives in Mill Vale, he said: "We've had enough upheaval over the last few months, we need to walk away from this now because I've got a five-year-old and a one-year-old and I don't feel that it's safe anymore."

Inspection report

A culvert near the damaged flats collapsed in May but the force of floodwater on Monday eroded soil and a waterfall formed close to the flats. Developer Dunelm Homes owns the land on which the homes stand, while the culvert is on land owned by Northumberland Estates. Neither company has accepted liability. Northumberland Estates said it was working hard to find a long-term solution but said there was little it could do "in the face of such very extreme weather conditions until the culvert can be cleared". Dunelm Homes said it was attending emergency meetings and providing whatever assistance and support it could. Mr Murphy said the flats at Spencer Court were "extremely unstable". Engineers for Northumberland Estates told the public meeting an inspection had been carried out and the report was expected to confirm the flats are beyond saving.

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